I have a new post up at Ideas on Fire on how to manage the piles of digital and analog stuff we accumulate through the research process.
Popular culture often represents the stereotype of messy professor offices with piles of papers and books about to fall over, with the professors themselves struggling to find that one article or grade book they know must be in there somewhere.
Yet as Jessie Daniels and Polly Thistlethwaite point out in their new book Being a Scholar in the Digital Era, most of the stuff we accumulate these days is digital. Depending on our fields, that might mean any combination of articles, books, pdfs, videos, websites, images, audio files, emails, and documents.
So how do we keep track of all that stuff? And, more importantly, how do we find anything when we need it?
This is where digital resource management tools enter. A good digital resource management tool does a few things:
- Captures resources as you come across them in your daily life
- Organizes those resources into some semblance of order
- Keeps resources from getting lost
- And most importantly: Lets you find an object whenever and wherever you want it